Discussion Questions, Crucible Act I

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Start at “Proctor was a farmer in his middle thirties.”

  1. Calumny means slander, spreading false rumors about someone. Why, according to the narrator, is Proctor “marked for calumny”?
  2. Who is Mary Warren?
  3. What happened between Abigail Warren and John Proctor?
  4. What does Abigail seem to want in this scene?
  5. Why does Abigail resent Elizabeth? (Who is Elizabeth again?)
  6. What does Abigail mean when she says “I never knew what pretense Salem was”? What does pretense mean? What makes her feel this way now?
  7. What does the group think is a sign of witchcraft involving Betty and the psalm?
  8. What did the townspeople think of Rebecca and Francis Nurse
  9. What’s the main idea behind all the details about the Putnams and the Nurses? Why is this description important?
  10. Do Rebecca and John seem to believe in the witchcraft?
  11. Why does Proctor stay away from church?
  12. What does all this business about firewood and deeds to a house show about Reverend Parris?
  13. What does Proctor say to Parris that shocks the group? Why do you think he says it?
  14. What trouble does Giles say has been in the town recently?

Stop at Enter John Hale of Beverly.

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